Category Archives: Sex Education
The past week, for us Australians, has been traumatic. We’ve been glued to our TVs as we’ve watched the final days of the Brett Peter Cowan trial. We’ve cried for the Morcombe family as they’ve had to face the monster who murdered their young son, Daniel, in court day after day.
This monster, Brett Cowan, showed not a shred of remorse for ripping away the life of thirteen year old Daniel Morcombe to satisfy his own sick pleasures. I won’t go into my anger at the justice system that released Brett Cowen twice after brutally raping two other little boys. One of those boys, Timothy Nicholls – only seven years old when he was abducted and raped repeatedly and so brutally that he almost died, says Brett Cowan took his life that day. For that crime, Brett Peter Cowan was sentenced to a hideously inadequate seven years in jail and was set free.
I have chosen not to rail against this inept system here, however, because that’s a post that won’t achieve anything more than fuelling more anger and pain. What I will do is, in the small way I can, attempt to help other parents to arm their children against the sick predators, like Brett Peter Cowan, in our world. That way, something positive might come of the horror that Timothy Nicholls, Daniel Morcombe and countless other children have endured at the hands of these sick pedophiles.
After much research, I’d like to share with you these 10 ways to empower our children:
1. Don’t force your child to hug sweet Aunt Bertha.
Why? we need to teach our children to trust their instincts – to listen to that inner voice that tells them that it doesn’t feel nice to be touched sometimes. Let them know that you back them up, even if it hurts the other person’s feelings. Chances are, Great Aunt Bertha isn’t a pedophile – but the lesson here is that they are allowed to choose who touches them and how they are touched. They need to know that they, and only they, are the boss of their bodies. They need to know, one hundred percent, that they have their parents’ backing to say “no”.
2. Teach your children to say NO.
Of course, our kids should have a healthy respect for authority, but they should also understand that that respect should never be at the expense of their own self-respect. Teach your kids to feel comfortable saying “no” if an authority figure asks them to do something that they are uncomfortable doing. Allow them the experience of listening to their instincts, acting on them and being supported. If they know they can say “no” and that their parents will support them and listen to them, they are less likely to be targeted. Pedophiles target children who fear authority and lack confidence to speak out.
Rude words and why Baby G thinks we can’t say them at school.
Last week, my big kids each had a friend over to play. Baby G was feeling left out because the big girls wanted alone time sans little sister, so I suggested she go play with the boys, who are good-natured and would probably include her.
She happily skipped off to Little Man’s room and I got busy cooking dinner, enjoying this peaceful moment to myself and patting myself on the back for engineering it. After a while, I realised she hadn’t come back so I went to check up on her and the boys. I peeped around the doorway to Little Man’s bedroom and saw him and his little mate jumping of the bed and shouting rude words at the top of their lungs (as 8 year old boys do) followed by raucous laughter. Baby G, of course, was howling with laughter and joining in.
Living with my kids is like house-sharing with a comedy trio. The conversations in my house make me routinely shoot coffee out of my nose. I’m pretty sure their comic dialogue is some kind of evolutionary survival instinct thing…it certainly saves our sanity on those “Mama is losing her mind” days. (Let’s be honest – that’s most days because getting my kids to listen and follow instructions is a parenting skill I am yet to master.)
Just last week, this conversation took place while I was driving the girls to dancing. It led to me nearly crashing into a tree:
Baby G: Muuuum, do i come from China?
Me: No, you’re Australian, Sweetie.
Baby G: But Miss M says I come from China!
Miss M: I did not say she comes from China… I said she came out of your VAGINA! Read the rest of this entry
Little Man: Where did I come from, Mummy?
This conversation had been threatening to ambush me for weeks. I could feel it. This was my moment and I had only one chance not to stuff it up. I remembered the advice I’d been given by a much wiser mum-friend to give just enough enformation, but not too much. Age appropriate, Michelle, age appropriate. I sat him down with me, put my arm around his shoulders and began to explain how Mummy and Daddy had decided that after we got married, were decided that even though we were so happy (carefree, spontaneous, able to sleep-in and did I mention spontaneous?) we really wanted a family. I went on to explain that, if two people reeeeallly love each other, they can use that love to make a baby. I (confidently, forthrightly and not-at-all-struggling-for-words like a bumbling idiot, not at all…) described how Daddy has special teeny tiny seeds called Sperm and Mummy has an Egg and that when we cuddled really tight, with love in our hearts, he gave me some seeds to join with my egg, and that would grow into a baby.
Little Man: Where does Daddy keep his seeds?
Me: (Dear Lord, what is this obsession with details?) Oh, um…well, you know that sac you both have under your penises? That’s where the seeds are kept.
Solemn nod. huge eyes.
Little Man: But why doesn’t he have a picture of us kids on that sac?
(My turn to look bewildered.)